Whether you want to tick a goal off your bucket list, push your boundaries, improve your fitness level, challenge your mind and body, run for a cause, or experience the pure joy of crossing the finish line, running a marathon is a great journey that helps you gain a new perspective on life. However, a marathon is one of the most challenging events in sports. It takes a lot of time and effort to get ready for a race like this, so it is only smart to have a marathon training program to help you train effectively.

What Is a Marathon Training Plan?

A marathon training plan is designed to take you from your current fitness level to the point where you can run a marathon in your target time. Most marathon training plans involve doing multiple runs per week, with each session consisting of a mix of long and short runs. This guide will walk you through how to set out on your marathon training journey:

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Week 1: Warm-Up Phase

Week 1 is all about getting your body used to running. You should be able to run for 30 minutes comfortably, and you'll build up to that point over the week.

As you ease your way into the first days of the training plan, you can either run on a treadmill or outside. You can also use this time to practice running with good posture and form. Try not to lean forward too much as this can cause lower back pain later on.

It’s also worth mentioning that the key to the warm-up phase is to start slow and build up your endurance. It's better to run for 30 minutes than it is to run for an hour on day one! If you're unsure how long your warm-up or cool-down should last, try this easy formula:

  •         Warm Up = 10% of total time

  •         Run = 90% of total time

  •         Cool Down = 10% of total time.


For example, if you're planning to run for 30 minutes, your warm-up will last 3 minutes and your cool-down will last 3 minutes as well. The rest of the time is spent running at a comfortable pace. And with every passing day, you should get a little better at running. Your body will adjust to the new exercise, and you'll be able to run longer before getting tired. You should also see your endurance improve as the training sessions go by.

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Week 2: Long Runs

This week is all about building up your mileage and endurance. You should be able to run for at least an hour without stopping, so try adding some hill training to your long runs. The more hills you can tackle in your long run, the better off you'll be in the end!

Here are some examples of what might work well for this week:

  •         10 miles on flat ground (or a very slight incline) with no rest breaks between miles; then 5 minutes rest before beginning again until reaching 20 miles total distance covered during this session.

  •         20 miles total distance covered during this session with one-minute rest breaks between each mile.

  •          30 minutes of easy running followed by 30 minutes of moderate-to-hard effort running at least 3 times per week with no rest days between workouts.


Week 3: Speed Work

We advise you to summon every ounce of strength you have because the third week of your training plan is the most intense. It's time to start doing some speed work, which will help you increase your fitness level and train you to get faster! It also makes your heart and lungs work harder than they normally would during a run or jog (which is why people call it "aerobic").

The silver lining is that you can do this type of training almost anywhere--you don't need fancy equipment or even a track! Just make sure that when you're doing an interval workout, there aren't any cars around so that no one gets hurt.

Let's delve deeper into the details then. This week, you'll be running intervals: short bursts of speed followed by a recovery period:

  •         On Monday, do a 1-mile warm-up jog and then run 6 x 400m at 5K race pace (or the fastest speed you can maintain) with 3 minutes rest between each one.

  •         On Tuesday, do a 1-mile warm-up jog and then run 8 x 200m at mile race pace with 2 minutes rest between each one.

  •         On Wednesday, take it easy for an hour or so of low-intensity, relaxed running.

  •         On Thursday, do a 1-mile warm-up jog and then run 5 x 800m at a 10K race pace with 3 minutes rest between each one.

  •         On Friday, take it easy for an hour or so of easy running.

  • On Saturday, do a 1-mile warm-up jog and then run 10 x 200m at a 5K race pace with 1 minute rest between each one.

  •         On Sunday, repeat the easy running you went for on Wednesday.

Although these speed workouts might hit you as challenging at first, once your body gets used to them, you will feel like an Olympic athlete (you sure don’t want to miss out on that feeling).

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Week 4: Building Strength

This is the last week of your marathon training plan. This week, you'll be focusing on building strength and preparing for race day, which can be achieved through a combination of the following:


You should continue to run at least one speed workout during this week as a way to maintain muscle memory and help prevent injury when you're not doing any other hard efforts (like long runs).  

Tempo Runs

Tempo runs are also known as lactate threshold runs because they push your body's ability to tolerate lactic acid buildup during exercise; if done correctly they will improve your endurance significantly without causing injury like excessive mileage would cause over time!

Hill Workouts

Hill workouts help strengthen leg muscles while improving overall cardiovascular fitness through increased blood flow throughout the body while running uphill at faster speeds than usual.

Long Runs

Long runs are the foundation of any successful training plan. They build endurance and help your body adapt to running at a faster pace than it's used to. This type of workout is important for both beginners and advanced runners alike.


Cross-training means using different modes and types of exercise during one workout session; examples include swimming/running or cycling/walking (or even skipping rope!). It provides variety in your routine while still allowing enough recovery time between workouts if needed--and it may even help prevent injury because it strengthens muscles in different ways than regular running does! 

Tips for Marathoners

Beginner Runners

  •         While you can always use this plan to train for a marathon, it is critical to make sure that you're ready to get started. If you feel like this training cycle is a little too intense for you, we recommend doing some light running for a few weeks before starting the program so that your body is prepared for the increased weekly mileage and intensity.

  •         Start with a 5K race. This is the ideal distance for beginners because it's short enough to be manageable but still allows you to get a sense of what running a marathon feels like.

Intermediate Runners

  •         You'll want to make sure you have a base of at least 20 miles per week, and that you can run 5 miles in under 40 minutes. If not, it's time to get serious about your training. You should also be able to run 10 miles in under an hour. 

  •         Once you've met these requirements, try running a few races of varying distances (5Ks are great) and see how they go before starting this training program.

Advanced Runners

  •         Experienced runners should be able to run at least 20 miles per week, a long run of at least 12 miles, and a tempo run of at least 6 miles, which makes them more than ready to start this program before their big event.


  •        Keep in mind that two types of runs are particularly important for race day: long runs and tempo runs. Long runs help you build up your endurance so that you can cover 26 miles without getting tired or injured; tempo runs prepare the body for fast running in the latter stages of a race (i.e. when it's time to kick).


Set Out on Your Marathon Journey With Luxeit

While the marathon is one of the most popular races in the world, it's also one of the most difficult to train for, so it's important to have a plan in place before you start training. This marathon training plan has everything you need to know about how much to run each week, what type of workouts should be done at each interval, and every other detail you need to be fully ready for your big day.

Do you want to unlock an impressive performance during your training sessions? Elevate your workouts with a breathable outfit. At Luxeit, we believe that exercising in comfort and style is key to pushing your limits.

Visit our shop now and explore the full collection of activewear from Luxeit!

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